3 Ways Couples Can BE INTENTIONAL in Love

by | Sep 1, 2015 | #coupleforward, #Gottman, #RelationshipTips

3 ways to be intentional

Relationships can generally be boiled down to one word: INTENTION. The trouble is, we usually bring intention to every relationship outside the ones we think are guaranteed. Being taken for granted is a recipe for the destruction of a relationship. But research shows that you can change that. Here’s 3 ways to be intentional in love:

PAY ATTENTION

Intention takes attention. Relationships take attention and we can easily pay attention everywhere except in the ones closets to us. Starting today, keep a close eye on what your partner needs, what they are stressed about, what they like to eat for breakfast. When you first got together you were on alert together, noticing everything. Now, you think you know. But people evolve and change. Find out what’s new and start scanning for ways to be attentive. Scan for positive ways to be there for your partner.

ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED

What if your the one feeling ignored? Then ask for what you need! So many people in long term relationships seem to be resistant to this. They only say something when throwing a fit or being critical, “you NEVER pay attention to me”. Being critical doesnt work for the long term. Usually it is met with defensiveness and a return volley of criticism toward you. Stop playing the victim and ask for what you need in a positive way. “I’ve really felt a distance between us and I would like more of your attention” and then, “here’s exactly what it looks like to me”. By being positive and specific you are more likely to get their attention and a positive response!

ASK OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS

One of the challenges of adulthood is our lack or curiosity. Asking open ended questions of  each other, asks for a story. When people are asked questions, it makes them feel great! When we listen to the story with curiosity, it contextualizes our relationship with positive associations. Instead of the drab, “how was your day?”, we must intentionally work harder here.  We may even need a tool because we are not used to being this intentional. If you would like a great set of questions to ask your partner, let us know! We will provide you with a great FREE Pdf you can download and keep in your smartphone! Then, go to dinner and see how it goes!
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Christian J. Charette, LMFTA

Christian J. Charette, LMFTA

Relationship Expert

Christian is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA) and the founder of Couple Forward. He specializes in helping couples navigate through love by helping them understand that the "map is not the territory". He has a passion to help couples learn to balance love & desire through research based approaches in creative, experiential and intentional living. He also offers Couple Forward Intention talks to groups of any size.